There are things you see and can’t see, things you hear and can’t unhear, experiences you live through that can’t be undone. Despite your most desperate wishes. Where you wish you had the power to permanently erase some memories.
But the more you push them down, the more they come up.
I think I have had one of those experiences. Or a whole lot.
This year has probably brought down enough blinds that a number of us were hesitant to pull down. It has exposed our governments (and I’m sure Uganda has a whole lot to attest too – most especially this month). It has shown the holes in our relationships. At least it has for me. I feel like there has been a sifting for those exposing my unrealistic expectations that I had held of people. It has also proved we are capable of so much more.
One of my favourite YA fantasy books is An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir . Don’t think I have talked about it enough but one of the phrases I loved, and those that made so much sense to me, was where the Augur explained to Helene that to make a blood shrike (I think this is in the second book A Torch in the Night) – the best soldier, one had to be first be unmade. Then Helene goes on to be unmade.
What does being ‘unmade’ look like? Quick answer – like most of 2020.
Maybe a little like the things you know most deeply being shaken at the core.
Does it help if you know of its coming in advance?
Well, does it?
I finally read ‘It’s not supposed to be this way’ by Lysa TerKeurst. Finally, because it has been sitting in my to be read library for a while. When I first got it, I thought I was emotionally well over whatever I was wading through. I wasn’t. Couldn’t get through the first chapter and then I came back to it. It seemed timely. I liked it because it wasn’t pushing my hurt under the rug and telling me to see that things are better. Even when I can see there are not. Textbook answers most Christians give that make it difficult for people to be honest.
It did provide perspective though.
It’s a book on disappointment, I like how she puts it – being caught between two gardens. The chapter I liked most had to do with how disappointment ‘unmakes’ some of the images we have made up of what God looks like, even those we have made up of ourselves. It unmakes so many things we have held on to so desperately – our rose-coloured glass versions of life.
But then with eyes wide open, we see people for who they really are; human, imperfect but constantly trying. We see life for what it really is – messy. My own wading has shown how little compassion I had to people who were walking through things I don’t ‘understand’. Oh boy – the things I’ve said and thought in utter ignorance! Experience certainly is the best teacher.
But disappointments (I could write my own book on that and because that’s where all this is headed even though it feels like I’m going round in circles)!
Where everything or all most everything is stripped and you can’t keep up any more pretenses. Most of Lysa’s book is built around the analogy of the pot and the Potter. How, when there is dust, its the perfect ingredient for God to use. There is definitely going to be shattering and cutting as we try to fit the right shape. The idea is to remain moldable, to remain teachable. Easier said than done. Trust me I know.
Simply put – when the blinds come off, for the things that matter, don’t rush to put them back on.
And I do hope your November has been a great month. I know I haven’t been here for most of it. But feel free to share your experiences (only that you are comfortable with) …or books you have read that you really enjoyed this month.